Politicians have discovered Instagram for themselves and with it a new form of intimacy – and that will have consequences for the way politicians present themselves in the future and get in touch with the public. For many younger people, Facebook has long since replaced it as the platform of choice. The use of Instagram has roughly doubled worldwide since 2015. No wonder that politicians are also increasingly interested in the platform and many want to jump on the train.
The Politicians On Instagram
Instagram politicians a way to communicate better with their follows and in the same manner provide followers the feeling that they are invited into the lives of the politicians they follow regardless if it is authentic or not. The free flow of entertainment is to some extent an illusion. From an anthropological perspective, all aspects of our identity and communication are intrinsically conveyed through cultural and social norms.
What’s in it for democracy?
People in politics who grasp such trends have an edge over competitors who tend not to take pleasure in them. It is by now hard to answer if a change is beneficial to democracy. In a way, this shift to social forms of communication poses a greater challenge for individuals in evaluating and judging candidates, although this is probably not seen that way. In the end, Instagram is just the latest example of a trend towards individualization in politics, fueled by new technologies.
It is a stroke of luck for those who move like a fish in the water on social networks since in doubt they allow them to rise politically outside of the established party structures. It is quite possible that some will fall by the wayside in this process and that ever-growing inequality between politicians will arise. After all, the naive notion of yore that only democratic forces benefited from social networks has now been shelved in public discourse.
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